« PrejšnjaNaprej »
will it afford, to meet them all in a state of perfection! Lord, prepare me for that state."
The next day, he left Mr. Beaty's and went to Maidenhead, in New Jersey ; and spent the next seven days in a comfortable state of mind, visiting several ministers in those parts.
June 18. “ Set out from New Brunswick with a design to visit some Indians at a place called Crossweeksung, in New Jersey, towards the sea. In the afternoon, came to a place called Cranberry, and meeting with a serious minister, Mr. Macknight, I lodged there with him. Had some enlargement and freedom in prayer with a number of people.
* BRAINERD having, when at Boston, written and left with a friend, a brief relation of facts touching his labours with the Indians, and reception among them, during the spacc of time between November 5, 1744, and June 19, 1745, (with a view to connect his Narrative, addressed to Mr. Pemberton, and his Journal, in case they should ever be reprinted) concludes the same with this passage ; As my body was very feeble, so my mind was scarce ever so much damped and discouraged about the conversion of the Indians, as at this time. And in this state of body and mind I made my first visit to the Indians in New Jersey, where. God was pleased to display his power and grace in the remarkable manner that I have represented in my printed Journal."
From the commencement of his residence at Crossweeksung,
to the close of the first part of his Journal.
We are now come to that part of BRAINERD's life, when he had the greatest success in his labours for the good of souls, and in his particular business as a Missionary to the Indians. Long had he agonized in prayer, and travailed in birth for their conversion. Often had he cherished the hope of wit. nessing that desirable event; only to find that hope yield to fear, and end in disappointment. But after a patient continuance in prayer, in labour, and in suffering, as it were through a long night, at length he is permitted to behold the dawning of the day. “Weeping continues for a night; but joy comes in the morning." He went forth weeping, bearing precious seed; and now he comes rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. The desired event is brought to pass at last ; but at a time, in a place, and upon subjects, which scarcely ever entered into his heart.
An account of this was originally published in his JOURNAL; consisting of extracts from his Diary during one year of his residence at Crossweeksung. Those extracts are now incorporated with the rest of his Diary for the same period in regular chronological order.
The following PREFACE, by the correspondents, introduced the Journal to the notice of its readers, and deserves an insertion in the present volume.
“ The design of this publication is to give God the glory of his distinguishing grace, and gratify the pious curiosity of those who are waiting and praying for that blessed time, when the Son of God, in a more extensive sense than has yet been accomplished, shall receive " the Heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for a possession.
" Whenever any of the guilty race of mankind are awakened to a just concern for their eternal interest, are humbled at the footstool of a sovereign God, and are persuaded and enabled to accept the offers of redeeming love, it must always be acknowledged a wonderful work of divine grace, which demands our thankful praises. But doubtless it is a more affecting evidence of almighty power, a more illustrious display of sovereign mercy, when those are enlightened with the knowledge of salvation, who have for many ages dwelt in the grossest darkness and Heathenism, and are brought to a cheerful subjection to the government of our divine Redeemer, who from generation to generation had remained the voluntary slaves of " the prince of darkness."
“This is that delightful scene which will present itself to the reader's view, while
he attentively peruses the following pages. Nothing certainly can be more agreeable to a benevolent and religious mind, than to see those that were sunk in the most degenerate state of human nature, at once, not only renounce those barbarous customs they had been inured to from their infancy, but surprisingly transformed into the character of real and devout Christians.
“ This mighty change was brought about by the plain and faithful preaching of the gospel, attended with an uncommon effusion of the divine Spirit, under the ministry of the Reverend David BRAINERD, a Missionary employed by the Honourable Society in Scotland, for propagating Christian Know
“ And surely it will administer abundant matter of praise and thanksgiving to that honourable body, to find that their generous attempt to send the gospel among the Indian nations upon the borders of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, has met with such surprising success.
“ It would perhaps have been more agreeable to the taste of politer readers, if the following Journal had been cast into a different method, and formed into one connected narrative. But the worthy author amidst his continued labours, had no time to spare for such an undertaking. Besides, the pious reader will take a peculiar pleasure to see this work described in its native simplicity, and the operations of the Spirit upon the minds of these poor benighted Pagans, laid down just in the method and order in which they happened. This, it must be confessed, will occasion frequent repetitions ; but these, as they tend to give a fuller view of this amazing dispensation of divine grace in its rise and progress, we trust, will be easily forgiven.
“ When we see such numbers of the most ignorant and barbarous of mankind, in the space of a few months, " turned from darkness to light, and from the power of sin and Satan unto God," it gives us encouragement to wait and pray for that blessed time, when our victorious Redeemer shall, in a more signal manner than he has yet done, display the “ banner of his cross," march on from “conquering to conquer, till the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ.” Yea, we cannot but lift up our heads with joy, and hope that it may be the dawn of that bright and illustrious day, when the Sun of RIGHTEOUSNESS shall “ arise and shine from one end of the earth to the other;" when, to use the language of the inspired prophets, “ the Gentiles shall come to his light, and kings to the brightness of his rising;" in consequence of which, “the wilderness and solitary places shall be glad, and the desert rejoice and blossom as the rose."
" It is doubtless the duty of all, in their different stations, and according to their respective capacities, to use their utmost endeavours to bring forward this promised, this desired day. There is a great want of schoolmasters among these christianized Indians, to instruct their youth in the English language, and the principles of the christian faith—for this, as yet, there is no certain provision made; if any are inclined to contribute to so good a design, we are persuaded they will do an acceptable service to the “ kingdom of the Redeemer.' And we earnestly desire the most indigent to join, at least, in their wishes and prayers, that this work may prosper more and more, till the “ whole earth is filled with the glory of the Lord.”
Crossweeksung, June, 1745. June 19. “ I had spent most of my time, for more than a year past, among the Indians at the Forks of Delaware in Pennsylvania. During that time I made two journeys to the Susquehannah to treat with the Indians on that river respecting Christianity; and, not having had any considerable appearance of special success in either of those places, my spirits were depressed, and I was not a little discouraged. Hearing that there were a number of Indians at a place called Crossweeksung, in New Jersey, nearly eighty miles south-east from the Forks of Delaware, I determined to make them a visit, and see what might be done towards christianizing them; and accordingly arrived among them on Wednesday, June 19th, 1745.
“ I found very few persons at the place which I visited, and perceived that the Indians in these parts were very much scattered. There were not more than two or three families in a place; and these small settlements, six, ten, fifteen, twenty and thirty miles, and some more from that place. However, I preached to those few I found ; who appeared well disposed, serious and attentive, and not inclined to cavil and object, as the Indians had done elsewhere. When I had concluded my discourse, I informed them, there being none but a few women and children, that I would willingly visit them again the next day. Whereupon they readily set out and travelled ten or fifteen miles, in order to give notice to some of their friends at that distance. These women, like the woman of
Samaria, seemed desirous that others should see the man, who had told them what they had done in their past lives, and the misery that attended their idolatrous ways. At night was worn out, and scarcely able to walk, or sit up. O! how tiresome is earth ; how dull the body!
l June 20. “ Visited and preached to the Indians again as I proposed. Numbers were gathered at the invitations of their friends, who had heard me the day before. These also appeared as attentive, orderly and well disposed as the others : and none made any objections, as Indians in other places have usually done. Towards night preached to the Indians again, and had more hearers than before. In the evening enjoyed some peace and serenity of mind, and comfort and composure in prayer, alone; and was enabled to lift up my head with some degree of joy, under an apprehension that my redemption draws nigh. Ó! blessed be God that there remains a rest to his poor weary people !
June 21. “ Rode to Freehold to see Mr. William Tennent, and spent the day comfortably with him. My sinking spirits were a little raised and encouraged ; and I felt my soul breathing after God, in the midst of christian conversation; and in the evening was refreshed in secret prayer; saw myself a poor worthless creature, without wisdom to direct or strength to help myself.–O blessed be God, who lays me under a happy, a blessed necessity of living upon himself! !
June 22. “ About noon rode to the Indians again, and next night preached to them. Found my body much strengthened, and was enabled to speak with abundant plainness and warmth. Their number, which at first consisted of seven or eight persons, was now increased to nearly thirty. There was not only a solemn attention among them, but some considerable impression, it was apparent, was made upon their minds
, by divine truth. Some began to feel their misery, and perishing state, and appeared concerned for a deliverance from it. The power of God evidently attended the word ; so that several persons were brought under great concern for their souls, and made to shed many tears, and to wish for Christ to save them. My soul was much refreshed and quickened in my work : and I could not but spend much time with them in order to open both their misery and their remedy. This was indeed a sweet afternoon to me. While riding, before I came to the Indians, my spirits were refreshed, and my soul enabled to cry to God almost incessantly, for many miles together. In the evening, also, I found that the consolations of God were not small. I was then willing to live, and in some respects desirous of it, that I might do something for the dear kingdom of Christ ; and yet death appeared pleasant; so that I was in some measure in a strait between two ; having a desire to dea